Prussing choices for broadband board up for council vote

Prussing choices for broadband board up for council vote

URBANA — City council members on Monday night could approve Mayor Laurel Prussing's first round of appointments to the Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband nonprofit board.

The board does not exist yet, but city officials hope to have the nonprofit set up soon, as elected officials in Champaign and Urbana signed off on the privatization of the high-speed Internet service provider this month.

The Urbana City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.

When the turnover happens later this year, the $30 million fiber network, which was paid for mostly with a federal grant, will be largely under the control of private nonprofit instead of a public consortium.

Champaign, Urbana and the University of Illinois will appoint three members each to a nine-member board governing that private agency.

On Monday night, Prussing will present Pete Resnick, Brandon Bowersox-Johnson and Alderwoman Carol Ammons, D-Ward 3.

Ammons, a newly-elected city council member, is somewhat new to the scene, but Prussing said she will provide an important perspective on the board as Big Broadband has set a high bar for minority inclusion.

"There was a need to have minority representation, and she represents a ward with a high percentage of minorities," Prussing said.

Resnick and Bowersox-Johnson have been deeply involved in Big Broadband since its inception, Prussing said. Both have served on committees that have guided the development of the network to this point.

"I think they've represented Urbana very well, and they both know a huge amount about this," Prussing said.

Resnick will get a one-year appointment, Ammons a two-year appointment and Bowersox-Johnson a three-year appointment. After the first round of appointments, appointees will serve staggered three-year terms.

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spangwurfelt wrote on August 19, 2013 at 8:08 am

Three great choices.